David Louis Edelman David Louis Edelman

Lennon People and McCartney People

Universities all over the world still give degrees in sociology and psychology, despite the fact that everything you need to know about human nature can be found at your local Tower Records store. (Or Amazon or Powell’s, for that matter.)

There are two types of people in the world: John Lennon people and Paul McCartney people. It could be argued that all of human history has been a Darwinian climb to reach these two perfect archetypes.

John Lennon people are defined by their passions. Moreover, they:

  • Are inwardly directed in their thinking
  • Prefer to act on instinct rather than logic or forethought
  • Optimistically believe that anything is possible
  • Have an innate distrust of governments, religions and other human institutions
  • Are impractical
  • Tend to be liberal or libertarian in their politics
  • Create art through sudden bursts of mad inspiration
  • Know that Attack of the Clones was the worst Star Wars film

On the other hand, Paul McCartney people are more focused on process and intellect. These people:

  • Focus on the outside world rather than themselves
  • Trust in process and logic rather than passion
  • Believe in an orderly world where everything has a particular place
  • Have respect for human institutions that are well-crafted or have stood the test of time
  • Are staunchly pragmatic
  • Vote for Republicans or middle-of-the-road Democrats
  • Create art through hard work, discipline and talent
  • Know that The Phantom Menace was the worst Star Wars film

You might believe that you don’t fall into either of these two categories. And it’s true that there are plenty of people who are part Lennon and part McCartney — as well as people who try to fervently deny their inner Lennon or McCartney. There are also those who believe that they are George Harrison people or Ringo Starr people, but if you look closely you’ll see that these are really just subcategories of the Lennon/McCartney dichotomy.

But if you reject the distinction altogether, that just means that you’re either lying (and therefore a John Lennon person) or too wedded to some other outmoded classification system to see the truth (and therefore a Paul McCartney person).

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  1. Tom Witherspoon on December 29, 2005 at 11:33 am  Chain link

    Um, I’m not a big Beatles fan. Rather a Rolling Stones fan. I’ve always considered myself a Charlie Watts kind of guy…

  2. Lou Anders on December 31, 2005 at 1:01 pm  Chain link

    When I worked as a journalist in the mid-to-late 90s in LA, I asked a few dozen people who their favorite Beatle was as a psychological test – the same shows up in VANILLA SKY. I meant to publish a list of SF celebrity Beatles picks but never got around to it. But it’s always been a telling indicator for me, except when I spoke to STAR TREK and BECKER star Terry Farrell, who declined to answer on the grounds that she was friends with Julian Lennon and had mixed feelings about John as a result.

  3. David Louis Edelman on January 3, 2006 at 10:30 am  Chain link

    I’m not sure it really matters which Beatle you like the most, it’s more a question of which you most resemble.

    Now if we really wanna get into it, I could expound on the theory that the world is actually divided into Bert people and Ernie people….

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